Healthy Snacking During the Coronavirus Shutdown (Part 1)

Image: Unite Food

If you’ve been pigging out on “forbidden foods” during the coronavirus pandemic — on chips, candy, and similarly fattening snacks — you’re not alone. These are anxiety-ridden times, and many people turn to food when they’re feeling edgy.

Bingeing on empty calories, of course, comes with a price. This is especially so when you’re leading an abnormally sedentary life, as many New Yorkers are.

With an eye toward helping readers deal with this dilemma, we have obtained and evaluated a number of “healthy” snacks. Some are ready-to-eat while others require preparation, such as baking. The thinking behind including such treats resides in the adage “Idle hands are devil’s workshop.” If you’re busy in the kitchen, you are likely not cramming food into your piehole.

This first installment of our series will focus on Unite Protein Bars.

A new contender in the energy bar market, Unite bars were launched in March. Packed with nut butters, hemp seeds, and prebiotic fiber, each bar, is gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free. Each bar also delivers 10 grams of protein and supplies 190 calories.

At present there are three flavors:

  • Churro — A blend of almonds, vanilla, and toffee bits dusted with cinnamon.
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate — A dark chocolate base with hints of cinnamon and warm chili.
  • PB & Jelly – Creamy peanut butter peppered with sweet strawberry jammy bits.

The proof, of course, is in the pudding. So how do the bars taste? In terms of texture, the majority of our 10 tasters found them “pleasantly chewy,” with two noting that they are reminiscent of Goldenberg Peanut Chews. One taster felt they were overly chewy, describing them as “a marathon adventure in chewing.”

In terms of flavor, all were fairly subtle. We gave the highest marks to the PB & Jelly, which is laden with chopped peanuts. We rated the Churro and Mexican Hot Chocolate good, if not as good.

One of the biggest pluses of the product is that the bars are extremely satisfying. If you’re looking to cut down on binge eating, Unite bars will prove an indispensable aid in keeping you out of the kitchen.

The bars, which may be purchased online from the manufacturer, run $29 for a 12-pack.

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